News and Commentary

Melania Trump Releases Statement On ‘Our Path Forward’ In Response To D.C. Riot
WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 24, 2020 -- U.S. first lady Melania Trump welcomes the arrival of the 2020 White House Christmas Tree at the White House in Washington, D.C., the United States, Nov. 23, 2020.
Ting Shen/Xinhua via Getty

First Lady Melania Trump released a statement early on Monday morning in response to last week’s violent riot in Washington, D.C., imploring cooler heads to prevail and for people to stop the violence.

Melania Trump said that her heart went out to the five people who died in the riot, which included police officer Brian Sicknick and the police officer who committed suicide a few days after the riot, Howard Liebengood.

“I am disappointed and disheartened with what happened last week,” Melania Trump said. “I find it shameful that surrounding these tragic events there has been salacious gossip, unwarranted personal attacks, and false misleading accusations on me – from people who are looking to be relevant and have an agenda. This time is solely about healing our country and its citizens. It should not be used for personal gain.”

“Our Nation must heal in a civil manner. Make no mistake about it, I absolutely condemn the violence that has occurred on our Nation’s Capitol. Violence is never acceptable,” she said. “As an American, I am proud of our freedom to express our viewpoints without persecution. It is one of the paramount ideals which America is fundamentally built on. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect that right. With that in mind, I would like to call on the citizens of this country to take a moment, pause, and look at things from all perspectives.”

The statement from the first lady comes after her top aide, Stephanie Grisham, resigned in response to the riot. CNN claimed in a report that Melania Trump was doing a photo shoot in the White House during the riot and was uninterested in addressing the situation because she was “checked out” and was not “in a place mentally or emotionally anymore where she wants to get involved.”

“I implore people to stop the violence, never make assumptions based on the color of a person’s skin or use differing political ideologies as a basis for aggression and viciousness. We must listen to one another, focus on what unites us, and rise above what divides us,” Melania Trump continued in the statement released this morning. “It is inspiring to see that so many have found a passion and enthusiasm in participating in an election, but we must not allow that passion to turn to violence. Our path forward is to come together, find our commonalities, and be the kind and strong people that I know we are.”

“Our country’s strength and character have revealed themselves in the communities that have been impacted by natural disasters and throughout this terrible pandemic that has affected all of us. The common thread in all of these challenging situations is American’s unwavering resolve to help one another. Your compassion has shown the true spirit of our country,” she continued. “As I said over the summer, it is these defining moments that we will look back and tell our grandchildren that through empathy, strength, and determination, we were able to restore the promise of our future. Each of you are the backbone of this country. You are the people who continue to make the United States of America what it is, and who have the incredible responsibility of preparing our future generations to leave everything better than they found it.”

The first lady said that it had been the honor of a lifetime to serve in the role and she thanked everyone who supported the Trump family over the last four years. She asked that the nation go through a period of “healing, grace, understanding, and peace.”